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A 3.35 ERA For Phil Hughes?

I've been having fun with the Bill James projections, which you can purchase for $9.95 here.  Today let's take a look at some interesting starters they project to post an ERA under 4.00 in 2009.

  • Barry Zito - 3.94
  • Tim Wakefield - 3.91
  • Jonathan Sanchez - 3.90
  • Jorge Campillo - 3.86
  • Pedro Martinez - 3.36
  • Phil Hughes - 3.35

A few of those are quite bold.  Hughes may be the Yankees' sixth starter heading into 2009, but they have him third in ERA in the American League.  How do they think he'll pull this off?  With an 8.8 K/9, 3.3 BB/9, 0.65 HR/9, and 7.92 H/9.  Hughes has not demonstrated those skills in his 106.2 big league innings.

As for Pedro, projection systems can't understand he had major surgery and isn't the same pitcher.  Most of you incorporate gut feel when crafting your fantasy teams, and this is a great example why that's necessary.

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